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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Performance of Various Winter Cover Crops and Their Affects on Weed Biomass and Yield When Used in Conservation-Tillage Corn-Cotton Rotation)

item Folgart, Anika
item Saini, Monika
item Price, Andrew
item Van Santen, Edzard

Submitted to: Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2009
Publication Date: 2/2/2009
Citation: Folgart, A., Saini, M., Price, A.J., Van Santen, E. 2009. Performance of Various Winter Cover Crops and Their Affects on Weed Biomass and Yield When Used in Conservation-Tillage Corn-Cotton Rotation [abstract]. Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Winter cover crops are an integral component of conservation-tillage systems in a corn (Zea mays L.) - cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) rotation. Some winter cover crops are used in corn and cotton for better nutrient cycling, increase in water availability for crop production, improving soil quality and weed suppression. An ongoing long term field experiment was initiated in fall 2001 at the Field Crops Unit, E. V. Smith Research and Extension Center of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station near Shorter, AL to evaluate the effects of various winter cover crops on weed biomass and crop yield in a conservation-tillage corn cotton rotation. Winter cover crops included black oat (Avena strigosa Schreb.), two crimson clover cultivars (Trifolium incarnatum L.); two cultivars of forage rape (Brassica napus L. var. napus), spring and winter; oil radish (Raphanus sativus var. oleiformis Pers.); three cultivars of turnip (Brassica rapa L. subsp. rapa), white lupin (Lupinus albus L.); and a mixture of black oat and lupin. Two-year conservation-tillage rotational sequences included conventionally tilled continuous corn and cotton winter fallow systems as controls. The 10 conservation tillage winter cover crop systems investigated were three continuous cotton systems that alternated a winter legume (lupin or clover), six cotton-corn systems, where lupin preceded cotton and radish, rape, or turnip preceded corn, and a cotton-corn system that had a lupin-black oat mixture as a winter cover crop every year. Cotton yield was highest in all years following the mixture of black oat and lupin (2149.4 lbs acre-1) as well as for the white lupin treatment (2187 lbs acre-1). Weed biomass reduction in cotton varied between years. Each treatment had the lowest weed biomass in 2006. Averaged across years, the white lupin treatment reduced weed biomass in cotton better than the other winter cover crops (778.3 lbs acre-1). For all years corn yielded highest following turnip (80.2 bu acre-1 +/- 9.4) and rapeseed (82.2 bu acre-1) as winter covers. Weed biomass was reduced the most by radish (586.3 lbs acre-1 weed biomass).

Last Modified: 05/23/2017
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